I feel like if you're a weirdly shy kid, you end up taking to very divergent paths during the pubescent years: Either you commit to your true introvert nature, or you light up like a mega-annoying supernova and start yammering off all the weird shiz you've been keeping locked inside yourself for your whole life all at once. I fell firmly into the second camp. Over the course of several years, I went from the mousy kid in overalls to an awkwardly outspoken baby horse who didn't quite yet know how to be funny but was going to try, dammit. And apparently "trying to not be so shy anymore" actually just meant being very, very loud.
Maybe this isn't true for everyone, but for me, once the words started spilling out, everyone was a little shocked by not only how much of an over-sharer I was, but how ridiculously loud I was when I did it. TURNS OUT TALKING IS SUPER FUN, GUYS. I have fully accepted the fact that I am the sidekick in everyone else's rom-com by virtue of the fact that I feel the need to loudly and sassily narrate not just my life, but everyone else's. You know when someone says something really awkwardly and loudly and shuts down a whole room in less than a second? Yeah, that's me. It would be great if I could be either awkward OR loud, but that's not how life works. For the most part, you end up being both if you're either.
I feel like loud talkers never choose to be that way — It just kind of happened to us. I am aware that I do it, but not necessarily aware when it is happening, or I would probably, you know, shut myself up. Fortunately, I am not as blind to social cues as I am deaf, so it's not like I am projecting my CRAZY IDINA MENZEL LOUD BELTING speaking voice everywhere I go. But if I'm in a comfortable, normal social situation — especially if I'm excited about something — you can be sure that the volume is going to go increasingly higher until someone has the good sense and kind mercy to stop me. Until that happens, here are some of the struggles that natural loud-talkers face:
Strangers always think there is an emergency
You know how the sarcastic people of the world are always saying annoying stuff like, "Where's the fire?" Well, when people as loud as I am walk into a room, they are genuinely asking (and probably already preparing to make a run for it).
Everybody always knows you’re a tourist
Specifically, everyone knows you're American. The times I've traveled abroad, I've gotten someone chuckling at how loud I was at least once a day. I'm pretty sure I breathe too loudly by European standards. Jeez, SORRY FOR LIVING.
You’re the most self-conscious laughing in movie theaters
There's always That Person who awkwardly laughs really loudly at something that was only mildly funny and makes everyone in the room instantly uncomfortable. I am That Person. The fact that my laugh is about as loud and strident as a guard dog's bark doesn't help, either.
You get told to “calm down” 90% more than other humans
People assume that volume = PANIC. I could be having a regular conversation about which cereal I'm eating and people would be like, "Learn some chill, please." And when we actually are upset about something, people think we're drastically and over-dramatically upset, even though we are just mildly upset at a high volume.
People just assume you are an extrovert
This is true of most loud-talkers, but some of us only loud-talk with people we know and love. Just because our voices are turned up with our friends doesn't mean we're, like, ready to address to UN tomorrow morning.
Sometimes you notice that you’re doing it, but you CANNOT STOP
Welcome to the train wreck of my life. Sometimes I'm even loud in my own ears, and trying to bring it down subtly without calling attention to the fact that your voice just dropped 1.6 million decibels is a struggle bus.
Somebody shooshing you is the worst moment of your life
The memory of every time I have been shooshed by a stranger is burned into my memory forever. I almost can't even continue typing because the retroactive embarrassment is that paralyzing.
Hearing a recording of your voice is profoundly upsetting
Especially if there are other people's voices in the background, the contrasting volume of which will give you an idea of just how freaking loud you really are.
Teachers always caught you talking in class
Loud-talkers can't get away with anything. One time, I muttered an answer to a question I hadn't been called on for in middle school — or thought I muttered it, at least. The teacher was all #ragesauce at me for the rest of the day. Similar shenanigans went down on a bi-weekly basis until I graduated from college.
Even when you WEREN’T talking in class, they blamed you
LITERALLY THE WORST. I was so careful to clam up in class, and multiple times teachers would be all, "Don't think I can't hear you all talking!" and then zero their angry teacher eyes right at me. INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GABBING!
If you ever talk quietly, people assume something is wrong
Nope, just thought I'd give you guys a five second break from being deafened against your will. Everything's chill.
It’s way more obvious whenever you mispronounce something
The virtues of being a mumbler is that nobody's like "it's HOW-stun street, incomparable disgustingly useless moron". (Nobody has actually said those words out loud at me, but they did with their eyes.)
Losing your voice is like getting cut off from the planet
When I lose my voice, I'm basically Sandra Bullock in Gravity, untethered from the space ship that is humanity. And the worst part is, you just keep trying to talk at your normal level, so loud-talkers basically turn into aggressive donkeys whenever they're sick.
You live in constant fear of interrupting someone
Sorry, were you trying to say something? I couldn’t hear you over my BULLDOZER VOICE.
YOU ARE A FREQUENT ABUSER OF CAPS LOCK
HOW ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO APPROPRIATELY GET YOUR POINT ACROSS IF THEY CAN'T HEAR YOU?!?!
Meeting with fellow loud-talkers is a beautiful nightmare
Beautiful for you. A nightmare for everybody else.
You’ll probably never be a spy
Or anything requiring subtlety, really. I should tell my future children the truth about Santa while they’re still in the womb. It's not that I can't keep a secret — secrets can't keep me.
Images: NBC; Giphy (10)